Exhibit celebrating 100 years of Doncaster council housing launched

It has been 100 years since the first council house tenants moved in to their new homes, and an exhibition has been created to mark the milestone.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 5:00 am
The Addison Act Exhibition, which has been launched by housing provider St Leger Homes, in partnership with Doncaster Council, to mark the centenary of council housing in Doncaster.

Local housing provider St Leger Homes, in partnership with Doncaster Council, has launched an exhibition marking the centenary of council housing in Doncaster, and the positive impact this has had across the borough.

St Leger Homes currently manages over 20,000 homes across the town on behalf of Doncaster Council.

The Addison Act Exhibition, named after the Housing Minister who introduced the legislation in 1919, Christopher Addison, will run at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery until Sunday June 9, in the Community Gallery section.

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Christopher Addison, the Housing Minister who introduced the council house legislation in 1919.

The exhibition includes pictures of council houses in times gone by, as well as stories from the people who lived in them.

One of those tenants, 100-year-old Frances Shorthose, has spent over 75 years living in council housing.

She said: “I moved into my first council house, on Wordsworth Avenue, Balby, with my husband Ernest in 1943 and it was just a few streets away from where I live now. I’ve still got the rent book from when we lived there.

“I’ve been in council houses ever since. This is the fourth council home I’ve had and I’ve been in this house for 25 years.

Betty Clayton, a council house tenant who has shared her views as part of the exhibit.

“I'm very happy, it’s a lovely neighbourhood and my neighbours are all so friendly.

“One time. during the Second World War, a landmine dropped in the street outside our house. My husband told me to stay inside while he went out to see if he could help.

“Ernest was a male charge nurse during the war and was based nearby at St Catherine's Hospital in Balby.

"Things have changed a lot over the years, of course. I remember when it used to be all fields around this area and when I was young you could run from Weston Road all the way to Loversall in 15 minutes across the field.

Frances Shorthose, a council house tenant who has shared her views as part of the exhibit.

“The houses were different back then too. We used to have a coal fire in the house and at night when it was cold you would have run upstairs to bed quick, or heat a plate up on the fire, wrap it in newspaper and put it in your bed to keep your feet warm. It's a different world now.”

Another tenant, Betty Clayton said: “I think there are so many good things about being a council tenant.

“For one, you don’t have any worries as if there’s an issue with your home you know that help is just a phone call away.”

Councillor Glyn Jones, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing and Equalities at Doncaster Council thanked St Leger Homes for putting the exhibition together.

He said: “Council housing makes such a positive difference in our local communities, and it’s fascinating to look at the journey we’ve seen in Doncaster over the last 100 years.

“I want to thank St Leger Homes for putting this exhibition together for local people.

“As a council, ensuring we have good quality, affordable and sustainable social housing is a big part of our vision locally.

“It’s a great privilege to see every day the positive impact we can have when we deliver good housing schemes for local people and it’s fantastic that tenants’ voices are at the heart of this exhibition.”

Paul Tanney, Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, said he was proud of the difference council housing had made to residents over the years.

He said: “We’re delighted to have put together this exhibition marking 100 years of council housing in the UK.

“It’s a big milestone in the history of housing in this country, and whilst there has been a lot of change, what has remained the same is the challenge and aspiration to ensure we have decent homes for people in Doncaster now and also into the future.

“We’re really proud of what St Leger Homes is doing alongside Doncaster Council to make a difference for families living locally today.

!Some of the most powerful parts of the exhibition are where local tenants have spoken about the positive impact council housing has had in their lives and it’s very humbling.

“We hope people will find this exhibition informative but also inspiring as we look at how we shape council housing in Doncaster in the future. Please do take a few minutes over the next month to pop into the museum and find out a bit more about this period of history.”

You can visit an official website about about the Addison Act Exhibition at spark.adobe.com/page/6PVG7qYZXTKaT. You can also search ‘The Addison Act Exhibition’ on Facebook.